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Written by Megin Potter | Photos provided

{From the 2024 Home & Lifestyle Magazine}

Choosing the location, layout, robust materials, and select equipment that can brave the wild swings of Upstate NY weather.

Whether you’re building from scratch, or adding to an existing backyard, a well-made outdoor environment will enhance the entertainment value of a house, said Arthur Zobel, owner of the awarding-winning Zobel & Co. Kitchens, at 11 Broad St., in Glens Falls. 

“The summer seasons are getting longer, so people have more time to enjoy their outdoor living space. They’re also spending more time at home than they used to. It’s not just evenings and weekends, anymore,” added Ginny Brandreth, Zobel & Co. Kitchens’ Marketing Director. 

Add stylish living space to your backyard or boathouse by upgrading your patio, deck, or terrace with grilling and cooking appliances, refrigeration, wall storage, tv and gaming cabinetry, and more. 

The Outdoor Kitchen Style Builder

In addition to meeting local building code requirements, the proportions of an outdoor kitchen must be geared around the space you have to work with, explains Zobel. 

Answers to questions about how you intend to use the space determine the layout (whether L- or U-shaped, galley style, or an extended straight wall, for instance) and other elements of the floor plan. Will it be simply to throw a steak on the grill, have a cold drink, and read a book in the sun, or do you like to entertain out there? 

The Zobel & Co. Kitchens showroom is stocked with inspiring, interactive, and diverse indoor and outdoor kitchen displays showcasing the newest products, latest trends, and technologies.  Zobel’s progressive and insightful designs have received years of recognition by industry leaders and are informed by explorations at premier industry shows (including the country’s largest, happening this Spring; the KBIS Show in Las Vegas), as well as the client’s vision for the space. 

“I love technology and seeing new materials but I also design my displays to be appealing to everyone. I like what I do, so I enjoy the challenge,” he said.

After discussing how you plan on using your outdoor living area, Zobel will make an onsite visit to get a feel for it, take measurements, and to determine how weather, temperature, and prevailing winds may impact the environment before coming up with a final concept. 

Captivating Cabinetry

A custom kitchen is a beautiful collaboration of the right cooking system and a team of craftsmen. 

After you’ve determined which appliances you want, the cabinets tie everything together. Even with covers, water can seep into surfaces, so Zobel recommends the durability of NatureKast cabinetry for everything from the outdoor bar and cooking center to the trim and decorative moldings. 

Built in the cold of Canada and able to withstand Florida’s heat, NatureKast emulates the look and feel of real wood cabinetry. Molded from ¾” PVC and featuring stainless steel fasteners, tracks, and hardware, this cabinetry is coated with closed-cell weatherproof resin that won’t mold, rot, crack, or split from rain, humidity, heat, or other environmental conditions. 

Protected and lifted off the ground with leveling legs, the door and drawer seals keep moisture out. The collection of 30+ colors and finishes create soulful spaces that are warmer and softer than stainless steel and achieve looks from classic to contemporary, traditional to modern. While Weathered Graphite CypressKast practically shouts versatility; the Cobalt Linen blue TeakKast cabinetry creates a signature style; and the streamlined Euro options invite sophistication to take shape. 

Moving the Indoors Out 

Outdoor kitchens have expanded beyond the grill.  

Today, the grill is just one component of an encompassing and inclusive outdoor environment that incorporates the family’s needs and wants with cooking, relaxing, and entertainment. 

After determining the location, the next step in planning an outdoor kitchen is choosing the appliances. Everything else, like countertops and cabinets, are determined by the number and size of appliances a space will accommodate. 

The more appliances, the more power sources that must be available. They may also determine where and how shade structures are built.

Finding which appliances are right for you often means looking beyond the grill. 

An Odessey in Outdoor Cooking

Skill is only half the recipe for high-caliber grilling and outdoor cooking - the rest relies on the excellence of our appliances and accessories. 

Mastering the grill used to be just about the fuel source, charcoal vs. gas, but now we’ve evolved beyond the gas grill, said industry expert Earl B. Feiden Sales Associate, Ron Frantz. 

Now, people are finding flavor in new ways. Tackling this new technology is easy with Earl B. Feiden, a family-owned business specializing in appliances since 1926, because they have an unparalleled understanding of indoor and outdoor kitchen needs. 

“We service everything we sell, and it’s been that way through a deep history that goes back to the beginning,” said Frantz. 


Flat Out Fantastic

Invented in Oregon after a fishing expedition, the indoor/outdoor EVO Flattop Griddle has popped up in regional hot spots since its release. Cooking like a cast iron skillet, the EVO Flattop Griddle black oil seasoned steel cooktop has a much larger area that allows for more control. 

Prepare a meal without compromising quality or together time. EVO’s circular shape brings people together to watch around it as breakfast takes center stage. 

Plop pancakes directly on the surface, then add indirect heat with eggs boiling in a pot, while bacon sizzles in a pan, building anticipation with each whiff of the mouthwatering aroma. Available as a tabletop, wheeled cart, or built-in, spectators can easily huddle around and point out how to cook catered to their individual taste preferences. Accessories like multi-tier roasting racks allow you to create food for a crowd at all sorts of special occasions. 

“It’s an adjunct to the outdoor kitchen that generates memories that last a lifetime and go beyond the food,” said Frantz. 

Smart Smokers & Hoods

Master the art of smoking with a full line of long-lasting propane, electric, pellet, and charcoal smokers that deliver incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful foods. 

This “set it and forget” slow cooking method lets you put precision cooking on autopilot while diffusing food with rich, complex flavors.  Say “goodbye” to the guessing game with a Bluetooth thermometer that transmits temperature information wirelessly right to the user’s smartphone. 

To protect walls and partial enclosures from damage (while providing proper ventilation from excessive heat and smoke) outdoor hoods elevate your kitchen’s look while reducing pollutants and airborne particles from contaminating food. 

Cool Beyond College

Made famous by all-night ragers, with the development of craft beer, the kegerator has moved off-campus and into the coolest outdoor kitchens.  

Compact and sleek in its design, the kegerator is a refrigerated stainless-steel keg that uses the pressure of compressed CO2 to keep beverages cold, crisp, and refreshing. 

Available in multiple tap configurations, kegerators can keep all your guests happy by serving their choice of craft brew, tea, and soda all at once. 

Cheaper and more environmentally friendly than cans and bottles, a kegerator is an impressive upgrade whether built-in or free-standing. 

With Character that is Distinctively Yours

Earl B. Feiden’s three locations, in Clifton Park, Latham, and Kingston, are stocked with an assortment of appliances, warming drawers, pizza ovens, fridges, sinks and ice makers, to make your outdoor living space distinctively yours. 

 “We cover the gamut; from the top-of-the-line to the more affordably priced options. We make it doable. We can do the whole lock, stock, and barrel, or just add that one piece you’re looking for,” said Frantz. 

Don’t delay your dreams. For more information, go to